Russian special services prevented six terrorist attacks in the first three months of 2018, FSB Director Aleksandr Bortnikov said at Tuesdays session of Russias National Counter-Terrorism Committee.
“Three terrorist crimes were committed [in Russia] in the first quarter of 2018 – in the republic of Dagestan, in Khabarovsk Territory and in Sakhalin Region. Six terrorist attacks were stopped at the preparatory stages. Activities of 12 underground terrorist cells were cut short,” said the director of the Federal Security Service and the chair of the National Counter-Terrorism Committee.
Bortnikov noted that at least three of the thwarted attacks – in Ingushetia, Bashkiria and Saratov Region – were planned to take place during the March 18 presidential elections.
In February, Russian security agents detained two members of the Islamic State terrorist group (IS, formerly ISIS) who intended to stage an attack at a polling station in Ingushetia. In March, they detained two members of a radical group and seized explosives that terrorists wanted to plant at a polling station in Bashkiria. Also in March, several members of IS who planned an attack on a local shopping mall were killed in Saratov Region.
The FSB director emphasized that international terrorists have not ceased their attempts to transfer their activities onto Russian territory.
Last week, Bortnikov told an international security conference that Russian special services prevented 25 terrorist attacks last year, and were unable to prevent four. He also noted that terrorists had used encrypted internet messengers when they prepared all of these attacks.